In The News

Purdue partners with zoos to raise hellbenders

Experts at Purdue University are teaming up with three Indiana zoos to improve the survival odds of year-old hellbender salamanders, according to a release from the school. Hellbenders are North America’s largest salamander and are most vulnerable to predators when they’re young. The efforts are meant to help stave off declines that have been measured in hellbender populations nationwide. And they may be successful, as hellbenders are different from other animals in that they survive well in captivity. “Mortality can be as high as 99 percent in the wild,” said Rod Williams, associate professor of wildlife science and leader of the hellbender effort at Purdue. “By rearing them in captivity for three to four years, they will have a much better survival rate.

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Navy studies the Arctic as ice loss opens ship lanes

The U.S. Navy is studying conditions in the Arctic as it prepares to conduct more operations there, according to National Public Radio . The investigations are using and testing new tech. Some of the efforts rely on submersible gliders and buoys to study ongoing changes in the Arctic while others are looking at the effects of ice and cold temperatures on Navy equipment and ways to make working in the cold region easier on U.S. military personnel. “The only time we currently operate U.S. Navy warships in the Arctic is along the coast of Norway up to Russia,” said Blake McBride, U.S. Navy Commander to National Public Radio. “Even if it’s ice-free, there will be times and places where the temperature is extremely low, and things break in ways you wouldn’t necessarily expect.

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Natural cycles pause global warming, but could flip

After the release of the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, scientists worldwide began looking for clues to explain why global warming had steadied. That was in 2013. But researchers with the University of Minnesota and Penn State University now say they have found the cause for the pause, according to The Guardian : natural climate fluctuations. And the bulk of those variations appear to be linked with the air-cooling effects that the Pacific and Atlantic oceans can have on the planet. Scientists typically discuss these in terms of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal oscillation.

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